Lebanese Foreign Minister Jubran Bassil said Monday Beirut would exercise sovereignty over offshore energy resources, including what was known as Block Nine, because it was located within Lebanon territorial waters.
Block Nine is located in Lebanon’s southern territorial water. The area is disputed by Lebanon and Israel. Israeli officials claimed Block Nine belonged to their country.
Bassil was quoted by official news agency as calling on importance of “applying international laws on any dispute.” He made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Retno Marsudi, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia.
Bassil urged Indonesia to stand by Lebanon’s southern territorial rights, as well as in the face of Israel’s “systematic violations of sovereignty of Lebanon and by using its (Lebanon) airspace to bombard Syria.” He, however, said Lebanon supported Indonesia’s candidacy for a non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Bassil urged Jakarta to support Lebanon’s quest to allow the refugees return to the safe areas in their country.
The Lebanese government and a three-party global consortium signed two agreements on February 9 on exploration for, and exploitation of, oil and gas in Blocks Four and Nine in Lebanon’s territorial waters.
The consortium includes France’s energy giant Total, Italy’s ENI and Russia’s Novatek.
Source: Kuwait News Agency